Before I start with the report proper, I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank NG57
Unite branch. Without the foresight and generosity of your members and officers, our bus
would simply not have happened, and our members owe you a debt of gratitude and we
We’re a brand new organisation, and had very little funds and even less credibility, so your
faith in us was especially appreciated. It is my hope that we can collaborate in the future
and build on the relationship we’ve established between our organisations. Here’s to
solidarity and comradeship.
So, with our thanks ringing loud, here is the report proper.
When we first reached out for funds for a coach, I had so many enquiries for seats I
thought for a moment we were going to need to book two buses! Then, John McDonnell
announced he was coming to Mansfield with his wonderful treasury team and “Rebuilding
the economy” roadshow. It’s a brilliant event and I think critical to winning the hearts and
minds of the electorate in traditionally working class, industrial areas. Understandably,
many people chose to go to that instead, but nonetheless, we managed to fill a 51 seat
We left Mansfield in good spirits, despite the early hour and chill in the air. After picking up
some comrades from Nottingham, we made good speed.
On the way down there, we shared our stories. Comrades were invited to speak on the mic
about what the fight against racism, fascism and hatred means to them personally, and
why they had made the effort to be there on the day.
There were some moving stories comrades. Not least, a survivor of the horrific genocide in
Rwanda in 1994, in which over 800,000 people were slaughtered in less than 3 months. If
EVER we needed a reminder of the dangers unfettered hatred can unleash, this
comrade’s story was it.
And yet, it was also a tale of hope. Despite him being a devout Christian, it was a local
Muslim family who, at great danger to themselves, reached out and helped him in his hour
of desperate need. They kept him protected from the violence and hidden until it was safe
for him to leave the country.
100 samosas were bought for the coach and boy did they go down well! They were
especially appreciated on the journey home I think, after the weary legwork of the rally!
After a pit stop at a services, we arrived in good time at the drop off point in London and
were near the front of the march. It really was great to see so many people from so many
different organisations coming together as one to demonstrate their opposition to racism
and fascism and solidarity with communities most affected by discrimination.
People had travelled from all over the country to be there, and conservative estimates of
the crowd put it around 50,000.
There was an optimistic, upbeat feeling to the march, everyone proud of the solidarity in
the ranks and uplifted to see so many people there. There was no fascist opposition at all.
Well, except for 3 attention seeking goons at the end of the march, holding up ‘We love
Trump’ banners and trying to antagonise the crowd with a megaphone. As you’d expect,
their efforts were entirely fruitless, and they were soon drowned out by the crowd singing
‘There are many many more of of us than you’. They got bored and went home before the
first speaker had began!
The speakers themselves were brilliant, representing Stand Up To Racism, the Labour
Party, unions such as the RMT, Unite, the NEU, the CWU and PCS, and other
organisations and groups, such as Grenfell survivors, and refugee aid charities. They were
positive and inspirational, and reiterated the importance of using the success of the rally to
build a movement, to come together in our workplaces and with our friends, to unify and
build resilience and resistance to the rise of the right. It was pointed out by several
speakers that austerity is directly linked to the feelings of isolation and desperation that
can sometimes lead to racism, and that the fight against austerity and the fight against
racism are so closely connected that it’s almost impossible to have one without the other.
Stirring, thought provoking stuff!
Everyone came away feeling energised and empowered to carry on the left’s proud
tradition of opposing racism, determined to build this movement so communities become
more resistant to the influence of the far right, and so the next Unity Demonstration (there’s
one in March, watch this space) is bigger and stronger than ever.
I’ve attached several pictures from the day, so you can get a better feel of what it was like.
If anyone would like more info or to get involved, please do get in touch,
Secretary and Training Officer
Mansfield Constituency Labour Party
Mansfield East Branch
Vice Secretary – Campaigns
North Notts Momentum
In solidarity we will change the world. The PEOPLE have the power!